Vendor view: Tailored clothing

Hugo Boss fall/winter 2011

Between fabric cost increases, higher minimums and delivery problems, this is not a fun time to be a clothing manufacturer. Total men’s tailored clothing in 2010, according to NPD research, was $3.4 billion, down from $3.7 billion in ’09 which was down from $4.1 billion in ’08. This represents an 8.7 percent decline in dollars […]

Catching Up with: Scott Norris

Scott Norris

Scott Norris started his career at Macy’s, joined Men’s Wearhouse in 1996 and was named EVP/GMM this year. Here, we speak with him about current business, marketing, and Men’s Wearhouse’s very unique clothing buyer, Jim Zimmer. How’s overall business? Business for the first quarter exceeded our expectations. Clothing is doing really well, as are dress […]

Jim Zimmer, Dress Up Man of the Year

Jim Zimmer, Men's Wearhouse

Breaking the mold: There’s never been, nor will there ever be again, a clothing buyer like Jim Zimmer of Men’s Wearhouse. Conventional wisdom has it that you never mix business and friendship. Jim Zimmer, Men’s Wearhouse’s highly respected tailored clothing buyer who’s been with the store for the past 35 years, has never been great […]

Editor’s Letter: Change is good

Karen Alberg Grossman and Jim Zimmer

More exciting product could justify some higher pricetags. There’s no question that times are tenuous for tailored clothing makers. Extreme cost increases on fabrics, delivery problems out of China (the Chinese now have their own huge market to produce for, plus they’d rather collect euros than dollars), newly high minimums, constantly changing prices and related […]

Hire These Kids!

Sal Giardina with his textile marketing class at FIT

Last night at FIT, I attended Sal Giardina’s Textile Marketing class for the students’ final presentations. I have to tell you, these kids did an amazing job of developing new products (real or imagined) and going through the entire process of bringing them to market. Their research (that included focus groups and surveys), attention to […]

Calling All Retailers!


The debut of Aquilon, an exciting contemporary trade show, is now happening in Seattle, today (10am to 6pm) and tomorrow (9am to 4pm) at the Georgetown Ballroom, 5623 Airport Way South. In addition to lots of cool contemporary brands, you can snack on world-famous Veraci pizza (they set up their brick oven in the courtyard), […]

Schmoozing: The Forum Group’s annual meeting in Louisville


This past week, Rodes hosted the Forum Stores for the Kentucky Derby and much celebration thereafter at some of the finest restaurants in Louisville. In between partying, there were meetings, store visits and much sharing of ideas to generate business in a new era. Many thanks to Howard and Susan Vogt and the entire team […]

Schmoozing: Mens(wear) Night Out at Aspen Social Club


A group of New York designers, editors, fashion directors, journalists, consultants and executives gathered at the Aspen Social Club on 47th Street last night for their second annual night out. The images below are cropped thumbnails. Click on an image to expand. Roll over the image and click the arrows on the right to see […]

Catching up with Raffi Shaya

Raffi Shaya

The king of cashmere: Raffi Shaya on cycles of business, and cycles of life. It was a tough few years for Raffi Shaya but his optimism and resilience never wavered. Rather than fire employees when the economy fizzled mid-’08, Raffi closed his New York showroom (a tough decision but at $25,000 a month, a necessity), […]

Power Players close-up: Eric Wiseman VF Corp.

Eric Wiseman

He’s been credited as the force that transformed VF from a jeans and intimate apparel maker into a $7 billion conglomerate of lifestyle brands. His recent growth plan, if successful, will bring corporate sales to $12.7 billion by 2015. A 1977 graduate of Wake Forest University (where he also earned an MBA), Wiseman worked for […]